One of the most important things parents and carers can offer infants and children is a sense of ROUTINE.
Having predictable patterns in life help us all feel secure and reduces stress.
Routines also assist babies to organize their feelings and teach them to regulate their internal needs.
You may have heard of the FEED-PLAY-SLEEP routine (or similar), which has long been the mantra of mainstream infant routine advice.
Whilst this is a good starting point, I can’t help but feel it misses the bit that most carers struggle with….the bit between play and sleep.
Somewhere between awake and asleep there is a process of getting to sleep!
So…I like to offer a slightly different approach, I suggest :-
FEED… which provides nourishment.
CONNECT… which means playing, talking, interacting to provide learning and love.
* RELEASE … which means being with, listening to, and empathically responding to your babies fussing and tears as they release their tension and stress.
Allowing your baby to follow their own innate natural process to relax and transition to sleep,with loving support.
Adding the additional step of *RELEASE, provides carers with a deeper understanding of how human babies work, and what they need!
Carers are less anxious and feel less guilt because they understand the process their baby will go through to get to sleep.
When Babies are supported to release their tensions, they are happier, more content and will give clearer messages to carers about what they need.